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PHS boys soccer: Mark Grimmer

Mark Grimmer works the ball in a game earlier this season.

Hey Warriors fans, today is Tuesday, Oct. 1.

It’s a pretty big day for Philomath High’s soccer teams. Let’s begin with the boys, who will be playing at home at 3:30 p.m. (an earlier start time than what the schedule showed last week). I haven’t confirmed it but I’m guessing that the school is stacking varsity and JV.

The Oregon West Conference standings show Stayton in first place at 5-0 and both Woodburn and Philomath second at 4-1. Obviously, the winner of today’s game will set itself up to challenge Stayton for the league title.

Woodburn comes in at 5-1-1 overall — a loss to the Eagles and a tie against Hood River Valley. Ever since the 2-0 loss on Sept. 19 to Stayton, Woodburn has seemingly slowed down a bit on offense. Yes, the Bulldogs defeated both Newport and Cascade by 3-0 scores, but those are closer than a lot of people would expect.

Philomath will obviously need to keep Woodburn’s offense out of the net as much as possible while trying to work in a few goals. The Bulldogs have allowed only three goals all season — it’s a tough D.

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The Philomath and Woodburn girls, meanwhile, will battle up in Woodburn for first place in the conference. The Bulldogs come in at 5-0 with Philomath right behind at 4-0-1. As I’ve mentioned in the past, an interesting side story to this game will be former Philomath co-coach Andrea Whiteman trying to notch an important win for her school. Becca Davis, an assistant to Mat Phelps for the Warriors, was the other co-coach at PHS during the 2015 season.

Last fall, during Woodburn’s first season in the Oregon West, the two schools split with each team winning on its own field.

This should be a great game and we’ll have to see if home-field advantage comes into play here for the Bulldogs. Looking at scores and on paper, I’d call this one a toss-up.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you at the next game.

— Brad Fuqua, Philomath Express

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